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Boarding boats at shows

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Old 01-08-2006, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

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Originally Posted by Magicfloat
Lots of good thoughts here on a very sticky problem. I am thinking of a rope across the steps that say "Boarding By Appointment" "Please see any of our sales associates" Possibly anyone that is offended by that is someone that it doesn't matter if I offend? Tough call.
"Do to new insurance regulations ALL boarding must be done with one of our associates"

I would also make it a bit difficult with the rope across and possibly a financing sign or something that has to be moved so it's not so inviting to board. On the offshores the engine hatches up seems to work out well.
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

why not take tons of pictures of the interior and have them on posted boards next to the boat so everyone can see them.... make it interactive so people can feel the swatch of the fabric or leather and a small piece of the wood.... Then across the bottom please see sales person for viewing appointment.... I bet that this will get rid of a few tire kickers

I was at the NY show yesterday and was people watching since the show sucked.... The booths that were having people fill out personal information on a list or card had shorter lines.... I also noticed that it you had the stairs at the back of the booth or not directly on the walkway people were intimated and didn't want to walk through a sea of sales people
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

Just make sure you display/booth is not next to the Water Skiing Squirrel. I helped out a dealer (sold a boat too) a couple years ago, and we were across the isle from that effing squirrel. What I would have given for a BB gun. There were people climbing everything in the booth, folks sitting their kids on the boats, etc. It was a mess.

As for boarding... I would keep a person stationed at each boat, and have a sign that says "Boarding at the Discretion of Boat Representative." That clearly stated the Rep for that boat has the sole choice of who to let on and who not based on individual situation.
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

I'm going against the trend here but I imagine that the majority of boat sales don't happen at the shows. I think that most people go to see whats out there and dream a little. Those may not be your customers today, but tomorrow....who knows. I think you are putting boats at the show for the purpose of showing them to a mass audience with the hopes that it gains a few sales in the future. A few simple rules should apply "no food, no shoes" and limit the number on the boat to two at a time. That way a Father can show his kids the boat without a group of kids being unruly. I personally would be offended if I were asked to fill out a credit application to board a boat. As a matter of fact I would never even consider doing business with a dealer like that.
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Old 01-08-2006, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

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Originally Posted by SpeedGirl
I was at the NY show yesterday and was people watching since the show sucked.... The booths that were having people fill out personal information on a list or card had shorter lines.... I also noticed that it you had the stairs at the back of the booth or not directly on the walkway people were intimated and didn't want to walk through a sea of sales people
I am with SpeedGirl. I think any extra effort - even little things like asking them to fill out some info about themselves first - will cut down drastically on non-essential traffic.

We always take our two kids to all boat shows. I wouldn't expect a family not to bring their kids to shop for their future boat - afterall, they'll be using the boat just as much. But our boys are angels.
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Old 01-08-2006, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

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Originally Posted by SpeedGirl
why not take tons of pictures of the interior and have them on posted boards next to the boat so everyone can see them.... make it interactive so people can feel the swatch of the fabric or leather and a small piece of the wood.... Then across the bottom please see sales person for viewing appointment.... I bet that this will get rid of a few tire kickers

I was at the NY show yesterday and was people watching since the show sucked.... The booths that were having people fill out personal information on a list or card had shorter lines.... I also noticed that it you had the stairs at the back of the booth or not directly on the walkway people were intimated and didn't want to walk through a sea of sales people
Yeah we started taking tons of pics of the boats on display and run a big screen TV with a slide show.....Catchy tunes and some info on the dealership and poker runs. It seems to work well. It also creates a respect issue with non-buyers kids that want to check out the COOL boats while mom and dad are looking at the BAYLINERS

Serious buyers are easy to spot because they usually ask the RIGHT questions about the boat lines. Kids are allowed if asked to board and must be accompanied by the parent and a sales associate as well. We are trying to find a middle ground to make everyone happy. After having several boats MAULED and beat up at the shows it's hard not to be a little jaded.
When you attend a car show the higher end cars Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari and so on have the cars up and away with the doors locked.......Pre and Post show hour sales are conducted without the crowds, by appointment and only with pre-qualified buyes.
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

Here's an idea...

Set up something that will divert the kids away - like 5 tv's with video games set up right next to the line to board the boat.

I know that my kids would gladly stand in the video game line for hours and not give a hoot about the boats.

As all parents know, diversions are always the best solutions!
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

Sale pending sign........

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Originally Posted by birdog
That dealer would lose my bizz for good. Lying before we even get started. We did the "Boarding with Salesman" thing & it worked pretty well.

All boats are 'sale pending', just waiting for the buyer to come along.

The methods that seem to work the best IMO to control the crowds are the greeters that limit the number of guest on board with another salesperson inside to answer questions if needed. Keeps everything in check that way and a guest does not have to search for a salesperson if they do have a question.
I go to shows to get on the boats that are of intrest of me. Not to be buying, but to see what's new and to compare different brands. I also treat the show boat as if it is my personal boat, which is way more care than what most dealers will treat our boats while in their shop for repairs.
If you don't want people on it, don't bring it. Serious buyers for higher end boats already have done their homework, prop kicking and looking before the shows. They just don't show up at a show with no clue, start looking, then buy. I'm sure there is an exception here and there.
The Formula dealers around last few yrs have you sign in, then they give you a sticker to wear, which you need to have to look at their boats in the 'Formula Coral'. This ain't freakin Disney World. Save the sticker money, put the sticker people on a boat to answer questions.


For you sales guys, when your buddies stop by, keep your conversations short. You are there to sell a boat and answer questions.
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

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Originally Posted by US1 Fountain
Sale pending sign........




All boats are 'sale pending', just waiting for the buyer to come along.
It must be my age because twisting & bending the truth to fit your agenda are the same thing to me
I could never sell used cars !
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Boarding boats at shows

ya coudl always put up a sing that says "if ya wotn be abel to afford this boat, than dont board it"....but thatd kindly ruin teh show for me....
on a more seriuisy note...we bought new boats befeor, and wetehr we go inside it a a show wnot change it IMO. if yar serius bout teh boat, tehn ull talk to a sales dude...................
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